General programme, activity sheet

Thursday 8 September, 2016 12:00 to 12:30 Oral presentation
Internal state terms as the animation glue in narrative plot: Investigation of SLI and TD preschool children
Speaker: Aleksandr N. Kornev, Saint-Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University

Authors: Aleksandr N. Kornev, Ingrida Balčiūnienė

The aim of a current exploratory study was to evaluate a productivity of internal state terms (ISTs) in typically-developing (TD) and specifically language-disordered (SLI) preschoolers. With respect to previous studies, we assumed that ISTs are not only formally related to genre specifics, narrative macrostructure or ToM (Charman et al., 1998; Meins et al., 2006) but also represent the speaker’s ability to animate verbally protagonists’ interrelations in the plot. To test this supposition, 12 clinically-referred monolingual Russian-speaking 6-year-old SLI children and 12 TD peers were assessed by two tasks: storytelling and retelling according picture sequences [removed for review]. Each task was followed by ten comprehension questions (CQs) focused on a reasoning of the protagonists’ actions and on their feelings about the events. The order of the tasks was counterbalanced with regard to narrative mode and story complexity (picture sequence [removed for review] considered more complex than [removed for review]). Due to several classifications of IST, we grouped them into perceptual (see, feel), physiological (hungry, tired), consciousness (alive, asleep), emotion (sad, angry), mental (think, decide), and speech (say, ask) terms. Individual production and distribution of the ISTs, as well as story structure and episode completeness, were estimated and statistically analyzed. Results of our study correspond to other publications on a weakness of SLI children in narrative macrostructure. The new is that these measures appeared to be influenced by both cognitive and language determinants. Yet, the same variability was revealed in ISTs influenced by story complexity (P≤0.048). In the SLI children, several kinds of ISTs demonstrated different sensitivity to internal conditions, external circumstances, and discourse genre. MLU rate, CQ score, task order, and discourse genre were the most influential for ISTs productivity in the narrative (ß=0.547; t=2.269; P≤0.040). Perceptual ISTs were significantly more numerous in the narrative than in the dialogue genre. References Charman, T.; Shmueli-Goetz, Y. (1998). The relationship between theory of mind, language, and narrative discourse: an experimental study. Cahiers de psychologie cognitive, 17 (2), 245–271. Meins, E.; Fernyhough, Ch.; Johnson F. (2006). Mind-mindedness in children: Individual differences in internal-state talk in middle childhood. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 24 (1), 181–196.
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Discourse and pragmatic development
Place: Room A-16

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